A ROLL-ON/ROLL-OFF (Roro) ferry service between Palawan and the Malaysian state of Sabah is expected to open by end of the year, improving the exchange of goods and services as well as people mobility between the two places, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said.
The establishment of the Roro service was announced in a recent meeting between the Palawan Business Council (PBC) and the Malaysian Business Council (MBC) under the auspices of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), the PIA reported.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between PBC president Nicanor Hernandez and Malaysian head of delegation Datuk Haji Roselan Jobar Mohamed, representing the BIMP-EAGA, for the launch of bilateral business initiatives and pursuit of a more strategic economic relationship, the news agency said.
Palawan Governor Jose Chaves Alvarez told a press conference that the opening of the Roro route would increase commerce and trade and create jobs for the people of the province.
The proposed route would serve Brooke’s Point-Rio Tuba-Balabac-Kudat, Malaysia. Another vessel would service the Mindoro Occidental-Coron-Linapacan-El Nido route. A domestic shipping firm –Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.– is keen on serving these routes.
In the press conference, Datuk Haji Mohamed also announced the start of a weekly direct flight between the Sabah city of Kota Kinabalu and Puerto Princesa City on October 28 this year. The air link will be served by MASwings.
Hernandez said the improved connectivity between Palawan and Sabah via air and sea will further boost the movement of goods and services between the Philippines and Malaysia and open more opportunities for the tourism and SME sectors.
“We have dreamed of this connectivity for a long time and soon it will happen. This is welcome news and these are exciting times for Palawan,” Hernandez said.
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